3/8/2000 – Spring-Fast® grommet edging is designed to prevent electrical wire chafing and wear – critical issues that have gained importance following the TWA and Swissair crashes

Washington, D.C., March 8, 2000 – Hardware designed to prevent aircraft wire chafing and wear – considered as potential factors in two major airliner crashes – was unveiled today by Device Technologies, Inc. (DTi).

The hardware is a composite grommet edging installed around the structural openings inside an aircraft, through which run miles of wires linking electrical systems from nose to tail.

Government agencies, airlines and aircraft manufacturers worldwide are scrutinizing how aircraft electrical wiring may have played a role in the TWA Flight 800 and Swissair Flight 111 crashes in 1996 and 1998.

“The TWA and Swissair accidents have led the industry to consider many steps to prevent other crashes Ð from preventing explosions in airliner fuel tanks to reviewing the installation of complex in-flight entertainment systems that are common on aircraft today,” Nicholas Petri, DTi president, said. “However, we feel the issue of better protecting wiring against chafing and wear through the use of better protective grommets should be given just as much attention as the other technical issues being addressed today.”

For years, the aircraft industry has put nylon grommets around the interior structural openings of airliners to prevent wires from wearing. Due to changes in temperature and humidity, these grommets can eventually dry out and become brittle, cracking or falling off the installed surface – leaving wires exposed to sharp-edged metallic surfaces.

As a result, nylon grommet edging has long been a great concern for reasons of safety and performance.

DTi has taken another approach to this critical flight safety issue by developing a new-generation composite grommet that does not become brittle with time and does not require an adhesive for installation. The product, called Spring-Fast® edging, is snapped on using only the pressure applied by the installer’s fingers. Once mounted, it remains indefinitely in place leaving ample room for wires and cables.

Spring-Fast® originally was developed by DTi for the electronics industry and is used today in applications that include computers, network switching systems, automatic teller machines, and hospital equipment. Spring-Fast® is a composite of polymer encapsulated spring stainless steel enhanced by a sacrificial cushion.

With FAA & U.S. Defense Department approval, Spring-Fast® has been selected for military aircraft, helicopters and personal aircraft.

“We believe the time has come for the aircraft industry to consider Spring-Fast® as a new-generation, reliable solution to the critical flight safety issue of wire wear – both on as a retrofit on aging and new production aircraft,”Petri said.

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